Hosting events can be a tremendous way for brands to increase awareness and sales alike. When potential customers, influencers, and the public get to know you face-to-face, it’s easier to see how great you and your products or services really are. Before heading too far down the path of planning a brand event, it’s important to consider why your company is hosting events. What is your goal and desired outcome?
In particular, we encourage clients to determine whether your brand is seeking to increase awareness or conversion. Knowing which of these is most important to your brand can help your event planner gear the event towards your goals. This differs based on the type of event you’re producing – is this an influencer event? Product launch? Pop-up shop or Tradeshow? Different types of events have different goals. We’re going to break down the difference between hosting an event for awareness or conversion.
If awareness is your goal, your company may be focused on increasing social media engagement. Tags, likes, mentions, and shares can help make potential customers aware of your brand–and that can lead to sales down the line. Use social media before, during, and after the event in an effort to elevate brand mentions. If you’re hosting an influencer brunch, for instance, you will want to use custom hashtags specific to that event to increase the number of mentions you get on social media outlets like Instagram. We recently used the hashtag #brunchinwithMG for an influencer event we produced for our client Makeup Geek Cosmetics. We were then able to track the data to determine how many times that particular hashtag was employed during and after the event.
According to Business Insider, multiple “touches” via marketing are required before someone will trust in your brand enough to make a purchase. Though the oft-quoted number of interactions is seven, Business Insider explains that the number really depends on many factors. However, building familiarity and trust is at the core of lowering the number of required contacts. What better way to engage your audience and gain their trust than in-person at your next event?
When planning a brand event focused largely on gaining consumer awareness, it’s even more critical to gear the event towards your ideal customer. What venue and vibe would most excite potential customers, influencers, and media representatives? Getting them talking about your company is key, conducting research so do your research ahead of time to be sure your event is right up their alley. Great experiences with brands get people excited, but average ones are generally quickly forgotten. Don’t let your event fall into the latter category!
Conversion is another goal that many brands have for their events. Is your company hoping to sell products as a result of the event? These sales could be both after the event itself or even in person at a pop-up shop or at a tradeshow.
When it comes to determining what conversions were direct results of your brand’s event, keep in mind the life cycle of your sales. You may not see conversions for awhile down the line, but that doesn’t mean that your event wasn’t a success. It’s possible that event attendees did not have an immediate need for your product or service, but were impressed with what they saw and kept your brand in mind for the right time.
If conversion soon after an event is your goal, consider putting a greater emphasis on the marketing leading up to your event. Using social media to engage attendees and get them excited about your brand ahead of time can get them making purchase decisions before even setting foot at your event. Increasing the number of interactions with your attendees ahead of time can help to close sales more quickly, both at your event and immediately afterward.
At the end of the day, properly outlining your event planning strategy to align with your awareness or conversion goals can help to increase sales, one way or another. Talk to your event planner early on in the process to be sure your event is headed in the right direction!